The Carmel River, a dominant feature of the Valley, intersects Carmel Valley Village and the community of Robles Del Rio. The natural features of the valley include woodlands, grasslands, and savanna suited for the area’s “warm-summer Mediterranean climate”. The natural beauty of the valley, and the Carmel Valley landmarks, are many. Here we’ve chosen our ‘top-ten’  Carmel Valley landmarks; a list of places to go, and things to do when you are in the area.

Top 10 Must See Carmel Valley Landmarks

  1. One of the nicer stopping points for many in Carmel Valley is Earthbound Farm. Located at 7250 Carmel Valley Road, the Farm of course offers up fresh veggies, ready-to-eat meals, other groceries, flowers, and gifts. One of the more distinct facts about Earthbound Farm is that it’s the world’s largest grower of organics. They have special events on Saturdays between April and December, and many find their chamomile aromatherapy labyrinth wonderful.
  1. In the mood for hiking or camping; for being out in the abundant and beautiful nature of the area? Then you may want to visit Garland Ranch Regional Park. This 4,500-acre site has meadows, hillsides, and creeks to explore. Called the “granddaddy” of all Monterey Peninsula Regional Parks, it was originally purchased in 1975 from William Garland II, and its landscapes elevations go from 200 to 2,000 feet. There is the Carmel River, steeply ascending trails, maple-filled canyons, and more. You may see many of the countless varieties of insects, birds, plants or animals. In addition, you will be up front and personal with the past, as you can see the remains of the Rumsen Indian habitations.
  1. Perhaps you need more Zen in your life? In fact, the oldest Zen Monastery in the United States, the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, is located at 39171 Tassajara Road in Carmel Valley. It’s in the fabulous Ventana Wilderness area of the Forest. The Center is known for, among other things, its spectacular natural surroundings, including many Forest hiking trails. It’s a place of healing, first used by the native Esselen people.
  1. Spend a day wandering around Carmel Valley Village where you’ll find shops and galleries unique to the area and opportunities to taste the local harvest. The time-worn oak trees are truly majestic and offer a little magic and a lot of shade.
  1. If you want a bit of everything, visit Stonepine Estate. Hiking nearby, horseback riding, beautiful vistas (of course), their Chateau Noel Gardens, and much more.
  1. While not the only Links by far, you may want to get your game on at the famous Quail Lodge & Golf Course. Besides offering excellent lodging and superb amenities, the golfing is second-to-none. You can book your Tee Time online before you get there if you want. Did you know the Lodge also offers an array of fascinating and fun non-golfing activities as well? Besides a Land Rover driving school, they have tennis, bocce ball, and even a 9-hole putting course.

For foodies, or wine lovers, and to ease your travel journey, we could easily begin and end our top-ten list here!

  1. Still hungry or thirsty as you travel from place to place in the Valley? A well-known spot, one that’s been in the area for over 3 decades, is the Rio Grill, located on Crossroads Boulevard. Winner of numerous awards over the years, you’ll enjoy “creative regional California cuisine” from their wood-burning grill.
  2. Café Rustica offers upscale country cooking in a rustic stone house setting. Reservations are recommended for this restaurant that features wood fired gourmet pizza, marinated lamb filets and their fish dishes are always a favorite.
  3. In the morning, the locals all head to the Wild Goose Café for coffee and breakfast. You can enjoy lunch there as well!
  1. A visit to Carmel Valley Village would not be complete without a tour of the local wine-tasting rooms! There are several ways to do this, on your own, as part of a trolley tour or via the Carmel Valley Wine Experience.  No matter how you get to the 20+ tasting rooms, you will enjoy the various flights and packages offered.

Ben & Carole love the Carmel Valley landmarks and have chosen to call it home.  They appreciate the warm Mediterranean climate and enjoy growing their own potted vegetables.